Isaiah 13:17

Hebrew Bible

15 Everyone who is caught will be stabbed; everyone who is seized will die by the sword. 16 Their children will be smashed to pieces before their very eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives raped. 17 Look, I am stirring up the Medes to attack them; they are not concerned about silver, nor are they interested in gold. 18 Their arrows will cut young men to ribbons; they have no compassion on a person’s offspring; they will not look with pity on children.

Jeremiah 51:11

Hebrew Bible

10 The exiles from Judah will say, ‘The Lord has brought about a great deliverance for us! Come on, let’s go and proclaim in Zion what the Lord our God has done!’ 11 “Sharpen your arrows! Fill your quivers! The Lord will arouse a spirit of hostility in the kings of Media, for he intends to destroy Babylonia. For that is how the Lord will get his revenge—how he will get his revenge for the Babylonians’ destruction of his temple. 12 Give the signal to attack Babylon’s wall! Bring more guards; post them all around the city. Put men in ambush, for the Lord will do what he has planned. He will do what he said he would do to the people of Babylon.

 Notes and References

"... Upon reading Jeremiah 50–51 (and Isaiah 13:1–14:23; 21:1-10), the reader gets the distinct impression that Babylon will be devastated in ways similar to the destruction of Jerusalem. But we know from extrabiblical sources that Babylon, decidedly weakened under the reign of Nabonidus (555–539 BC), fell without a battle to the Persians under Cyrus in 539 BC. King Cyrus had earlier subjugated the Medes (549 BC), who were integrated into the Persian empire. The Medes were apparently an especially prominent people within the Persian empire (perhaps because the mother of Cyrus was a Median), and they are mentioned together in several texts (e.g., Esther 1:19; Daniel 5:28; 8:20). Yet, Jeremiah 51:11, 28; Isaiah 13:17 refer only to the Medes as those stirred up by God for the conquest of Babylon (the Persians are not mentioned). Given these differences between the biblical texts and the historical record, it may be asked whether Jeremiah 50–51 constitute a failure of prophecy. At the least, these texts do not speak with historical precision. It may be that these texts were formulated at a time prior to the rise of the Persians and it was thought that the Medians constituted the decisive threat to Babylon. As with prophecy generally, changing circumstances may call for adjustments in prophetic words about the future (see at Jeremiah 18:7-10; examples include 1 Kings 21:27-29; 2 Kings 20:1-7) ..."

Fretheim, Terence E. The Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary: Jeremiah (p. 623) Smith & Helwys, 2002

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